Police probing cold caller incident

Police probing cold caller incident
Ciara Maguire

Reporter:

Ciara Maguire

Email:

ciara.maguire@strabaneweekly.co.uk

A WARNING has been issued to homeowners to be vigilant to bogus callers following an incident in Castlederg.

Police say an investigation is continuing into the report of a cold caller at an address in the town last month.

Officers received a report that a male purporting to be a Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) employee checking meters was circulating in the area of Ratyn Road on December 9, but subsequent enquiries have found he was not genuine.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "Police received a report that a male purporting to be an NIE employee checking meters was circulating in the area of Ratyn Road, Castlederg, on December 9 in a grey vehicle.

"Checks with NIE confirm this male was not a genuine employee and when the male was challenged for ID he left the property at speed.

"If you are in any doubt about a caller please ask the person for identification then ring QUICK CHECK on 0800 0132290 - genuine callers will not mind.

"In an emergency dial 999."

Bogus callers are an all too common problem, and their preferred course of action is to pose as staff seeking to gain entry to check the water or electric supply in the customer’s property, or causing distraction while an accomplice breaks in.

Once they have gained entry they will distract the customer and try to steal valuables lying around the home.

If a caller comes to your door claiming to be from a utility company, always ask to see their ID, which should include the person's details, a photograph and the company's details.

Homeowners are advised to never allow anyone into their home unless they are certain they are who they say they are.

NIE has also urged customers to be on their guard, saying their staff will always have proof of ID when calling to homes

"“When a NIE Networks meter reader or member of our team calls to a customer’s home or premises, they will always carry an identity badge," a spokesperson said.

“If a customer is unsure about a caller we would advise them to ask the caller to wait outside and close the door.

"They can then ring the PSNI Quick Check service on 101 to confirm they work at NIE Networks.

"Our meter reader or engineer will wait for the customer to make the call or give them a card to come back later.

“We have lots of information and advice on our website about Quick Check and the other services we offer to help keep customers safe, particularly for vulnerable customers or those who may need additional support.

"Customers can visit nienetworks.co.uk to find out more.”

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